This project is run by a registered UK charity and Malagasy NGO that has been working on environmental, humanitarian and sustainable development projects in southeast Madagascar since 1995.
The majority of Madagascar’s population live in isolated rural communities, many of whom have little or no access to even basic levels of formal education. One of the challenges of the Malagasy government’s Madagascar Action Plan (MAP) 2007-2012 is to create a successful primary education system by “increasing school capacities especially in vulnerable zones, through the development of school infrastructures, the training and the recruitment of new teachers.” The government aims to construct at least 3,000 classrooms by 2012 to enable children aged 6-14 to be taught for at least a half-day, every day.
In collaboration with the education authority CISCO, the NGO has set up a schools building program for Mahatalaky. As part of the collaboration CISCO is committed to providing teaching staff. So far this program has completed 8 community school buildings complete with permanent sanitation infrastructure and a closed potable water source, for 8 priority villages that previously had no state provided school, benefiting over 2000 children of school age. Volunteers on the “Community Construction” program will be helping the NGO to build on these achievements.
This project is run by a registered charity that has been working on environmental, humanitarian and sustainable development projects in southeast Madagascar since 1995. Where possible and practical, we use only locally owned and operated suppliers and employ local people as guides to lead our groups of volunteers. We ensure that our suppliers are providing us with quality goods that have been sourced/ or grown locally wherever possible. Our local guides and staff are in full time employment with contracts, are treated as equals, paid a fair wage and not given an unreasonable workload.
We plan volunteer programs in a way which maximizes the opportunity to meet and work alongside local people, learn about the local culture and experience the local way of life. We teach our volunteers to speak the local dialect of the Malagasy language and provide orientation to present a balanced view of the country, the people, our work and local culture and traditions, religion, body language and eating habits before any volunteer visits the field.
We are aware that wherever we go we are having an impact on the environment. We endeavour to minimize this impact and engage in projects that not only make the environment sustainable but contribute to improving it. When visiting villages, group sizes are determined by what is appropriate to the area we are visiting and the job that we are doing.
Use of motorised transport is kept to a minimum. We ask volunteers to use water sparingly and respect the needs of local people at water collection points. We ensure animals are never fed or touched unless to do so is part of an organised visit to a park or other managed environment. We provide water to refill plastic bottles and we separate our waste for re-use or composting.